Polka Dot Cottage | Making stuff and telling you all about it since 2005

TWiP: the least I could do

Posted February 28th, 2015 by

This Week in Pictures

This week, particularly the early part, was pretty much dominated by my surgical procedure, but we’ve already talked about that, so no need to discuss it any further here.

In other news of the week, Aidan turned 15 on Thursday (yikes!) and I got a new laptop. This, in fact, is my first blog post from the new computer. So far, so good.

Remember last year when I dumped a cup of coffee into my old computer? Yeah, those were some good times right there. It was like the gift that kept on giving, because that little incident caused my CTRL key to work intermittently, as well as the right-click mouse button on my track pad. And over time, complications from taking the laptop apart to drain it caused the left corner of the screen to come unhinged. Sometimes using that computer could be comedic. And I’ve been doing it for a year.

It got worse when I started using Lightroom to edit my photos. My whole system was brought to its poor little crippled knees.

So replacing the laptop has been on my radar for quite some time, but I’ve been too reluctant to part with what little cash I have. I finally bit the bullet when Neil found me a great deal on eBay this week. It’s been perfect timing, too, because I have spent a lot of time sitting around recently, between my recovery, antibiotics that make me feel blechy, and good ol’ monthly cramps. I’ve had time to copy my important stuff over and poke around Windows 8, too.

Ok. Enough nerd talk from me. All of the aforementioned laying around has not been conducive to hosting a proper birthday party for my teenager, so we’ve been doing the “low-key supper-and-cake” circuit with the grandparents. On Thursday (his actual birthday) we took him out to the local diner, just the four of us. Last night it was Chinese food and ice cream cake at Neil’s parents’ house, and tonight it is sandwiches and brownies at my parents’ house. I’m on the hook to make the brownies this afternoon, which is the least I could do.

Actually, it may very well be the least I could do.

This entire week, as a matter of fact, has been full of me doing the absolute least I could get away with doing. I’m looking forward to getting my act together again. Like, soon.

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for my Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2015), plus some everyday-life snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

365: 2015 51/365 – Lunch leftovers, duly labeled.

Sunday

2015 52/365

365: 2015 52/365 – I usually like to take my 365 pictures in the morning, but then something like this happens and makes me glad I waited…

Monday

Instagram: Getting my iv in before my procedure. Good times.

365: 2015 53/365 – Monday night: painillers and early to bed. Surgery went well (thanks for all of the positive energy thrown my way).

Tuesday

365: 2015 54/365 – Tuesday morning breakfast: vitamins, antibiotics, painkillers, a Larabar, a hot cup of Tazo Zen tea, a comfy blanket, and Downton Abbey on the DVR.

Wednesday

365: 2015 55/365 – With this Frappuccino I celebrate: 1) Getting out and about after 2 days in my pajamas. 2) Excellent biopsy results. 3) The soothing feel of a frozen drink on a sore throat. 4) A pink and gray blanket on the hook. 5) An outside temperature above freezing. 6) Starbucks Rewards, which got me my drink for free :-)

Instagram: Hey, there, Instagram. Sleep tight 

Thursday

Instagram: Why, yes, I *do* have Clarkesworld wrapping paper. Doesn’t everyone? 

Instagram: The husband stole my phone…

Instagram: The birthday boy 

365: 2015 56/365 – Sometimes you just want a drink with a cherry in it :-)

Friday

365: 2015 57/365 – Birthday party number two, this time with cake :-)

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on Flickr.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

Weekend Favorites

Posted February 27th, 2015 by

This was one of those weeks for me that was simultaneously long and short. I am afraid I never managed to share any links. The good news is that I had no problem at all lazily scrolling through my Instagram and Flickr feeds to pick out some nice images for this last Friday in February.

While I find it hard to believe that we are already ushering February out the door, I can’t say I am sorry to see the beginning of the end of winter. The only thing keeping me from being a complete baby about the cold and the snow is knowing that it’s worse a few hundred miles north of me in New England.

Historically, March has not been my favorite month, but I’m choosing to be cautiously optimistic this year. Bring it on!

Images

The mosaic below represents other people’s pictures that spoke to me this week on Flickr and Instagram. Click on the titles below the mosaic to get a better look at the images and see more from the photographers who made them.

(Follow me?Flickr | Instagram)

Weekend Favorites at Polka Dot Cottage

  1. the answer to any question first thin… by kellyish via Instagram
  2. There is a lot of candy here by madebyrae via Instagram
  3. Enjoying a Monday morning colour fix … by attic24 via Instagram
  4. I missed the biggest snow of the seas… by shiningegg via Instagram
  5. it was snowing when i woke up and the… by loripickert via Instagram
  6. Sparklers > Candles by ohhappyday via Instagram
  7. 57/365 – 15 by moo o’hara via Flickr
  8. Allllmoost finished with an itty bitt… by pam garrison via Flickr
  9. the ‘i want chocolate cake’ cake by smitten via Flickr
  10. #GoldenHour in downtown #Lowell by SmithDryGoods via Flickr
  11. 56/365 – 15 by moo o’hara via Flickr
  12. Beautiful barkcloth for Amy. I wish I… by gertrudemade via Instagram

Have a lovely Friday!

Twenty days

Posted February 25th, 2015 by

Squircle

It’s been 20 days since I posted anything in this space that wasn’t a Weekend Favorites or TWiP post. Thank goodness for those TWiP posts, actually, because they allow me to easily share what is going on around here even when I am too busy (or uninspired) to write real content during the week.

It keeps me from having to feel too guilty about letting things slide for several days.

So, it’s Wednesday morning. I had minor surgery on Monday to remove a growth on the back of my tongue. The biopsy already came back and all is well, so hooray for that! But the whole anesthesia thing really throws me for a loop. I get nauseous, and I spend about three times as long in recovery as all of the other patients before I feel well enough to put on my clothes and get in the car.

I’m pretty much back to normal now, although I am still dealing with a fairly sore throat (which is to be expected). And I am in a space of simultaneously wanting to get back to the Real World, and wanting to continue to take it easy a bit. So far I’ve compromised. I’ve taken a shower and gotten dressed for the first time in three days (yay! Real World!) but I’m not in any hurry to get anything else done at the moment (yay! Taking it easy!).

I really do need to start some laundry and do a spot of food shopping, but that can wait until the afternoon.

For now, I’m going to fire up the DVR and watch the Parks & Rec episode I missed last night, and work on a little bit of crochet. I’m making another blanket, and I’ll be sharing the pattern here when I’m done 

Nice chatting with you this morning!

TWiP: Snow, snow, go away

Posted February 21st, 2015 by

This Week in Pictures

Last week on TWiP, our intrepid crew was holed up in Boston waiting for the blizzard to pound them.

Actually, there was very little intrepidness about it. We were in a very nice hotel, and we watched the snow blow around from the warmth of our room, or the big window down the hall. In fact, we never once breathed the outside Boston air during our stay. In some ways, it seems a shame to drive four+ hours and then hang out in a box all weekend. But, really, it was such a comfortable box, and it had a nice view. I have no regrets.

We ended up staying until Monday and waiting out the storm. Our ride home was uneventful, thankfully, and we arrived back in New Jersey just in time for another snow storm. School was canceled on Tuesday as a result, so we got in an extra day of vacationing. That was nice.

I don’t know if you remember the cabled sweater I’ve been working on. You’ve gotten several glimpses of it in the course of these TWiP posts. I’ve been mostly taking my time with it, but I was very excited to have a weekend away with no commitments, during which I could have a knitting marathon and maybe even finish the darn thing. I had about a sleeve and a half to go. I even made sure to bring my tapestry needle so I could sew all of the pieces together when I was done.

Do you know what I forgot to bring?

Yarn! 

Brilliant, right? I had prime knitting time and I couldn’t use it. As it turns out, another big project fell in my lap, and I found a totally nerdy way to fill up all of those spare hours. All was not lost, and I am happy with how I spent my time.

But it means that my sweater is still unfinished. And I haven’t worked on it at all since I’ve been home, either, since I realized that a crochet project I thought had a late May deadline really ought to be finished by late March. So I’ve had to switch gears to blanket-making.

That blanket really deserves a post of its own. Hopefully this week!

I would love to finish those sweater sleeves before spring, but let me be clear: I am not requesting that the Winter weather stick around longer just to accommodate my knitting schedule. If it comes down to that, I’ll just wait and wear my new sweater in the fall, thankyouverymuch!

So, what is This Week in Pictures?

It’s a roundup of the photos I shot for my Project 365 (one image each day for all of 2015), plus some everyday-life snapshots I posted on Instagram during the previous week.

Ready? Cast your mind back to this time last week…

Saturday

Instagram: There is nothing like a crazy-bright hotel bathroom to really accentuate all of those grays you didn’t realize you had. I mean, I knew I had *some* but not this many!

Instagram: So guess who has two days of prime knitting time ahead of her, and didn’t remember to pack an extra ball of yarn. Sigh. I totally could have finished this sweater this weekend.

365: 2015 44/365 – Saturday afternoon: I took my zoom lens down the hall to a large window for a different view, and some close-ups of the city.

Sunday

365: 2015 45/365 – Sunday morning: another hotel window shot. It’s gotten snowy around here.

Instagram: The blizzard from the 8th floor. Visibility is about as bad as they predicted.

Monday

365: 2015 46/365 – I enjoy having a weekend away now and then, but it’s always great to get home and hang out on the couch with my favorite blanket and my favorite sweetie.

Tuesday

365: 2015 47/365 – More snow. Can’t seem to escape this stuff.

Wednesday

Instagram: Getting a growth removed on Monday. Today it’s pre-surgery blood testing. Yippee.

365: 2015 48/365 – We’ve been home for two days, and the suitcase I shared with the boys was still not unpacked as of this afternoon. I’m very on top of things ;-)

Thursday

Instagram: Sometimes while you’re waiting for the clothes to come out of the dryer so you can fold them, you have an idea that you just need to drop everything to try out, and some books that you just need to flip through to help flesh out your idea…

365: 2015 49/365 – I’ve been working on a new blanket idea since the fall, but I keep being unhappy with it and starting over. I let it sit for a few months, and now I think I *finally* have a color scheme and square design that I like.

Friday

365: 2015 50/365 – I got tired of waiting for the kid who said he wanted to be the one to take the tree down, and started dismantling it today. Yes, you read that right. This is our Christmas tree. On February 20th.

Thanks for taking a peek at this week’s photos! If you want to see this stuff as it happens, please feel free to follow me on Flickr.

I may already have plans to blog about some of these things in greater detail over the coming week, but be sure to leave a comment if there’s something in particular you want to know about!

Weekend Favorites

Posted February 20th, 2015 by

Some Thursday nights when I am putting together the Weekend Favorites post for the next day, I find myself thinking, “I’d rather be watching The Big Bang Theory right now.” In fact, that thought is going through my head right this very minute, so I hope you’ll forgive me if I keep the comments brief 

Images

The mosaic below represents other people’s pictures that spoke to me this week on Flickr and Instagram. Click on the titles below the mosaic to get a better look at the images and see more from the photographers who made them.

(Follow me?Flickr | Instagram)

Weekend Favorites at Polka Dot Cottage

  1. untitled by mrjennieleigh via Instagram
  2. Joined, seamed, blocked and ready to … by knitpiccy via Instagram
  3. Happy Heart Day! by thelongthread via Instagram
  4. red + pink. #atthebeach #valentinesda… by jonesdesigncompany via Instagram
  5. Not exactly simple; quite delicate ac… by lifeonflower via Instagram
  6. Happy Valentine’s Day! Cheers! by jennyeveryday via Instagram
  7. Happy Valentines Day breakfast for my… by whimsylove via Instagram
  8. For those of you who’ve followed my w… by lisacongdon via Instagram
  9. My collection of hand tufted rugs wit… by lottajansdotter via Instagram
  10. it’s 1* with a wind chill of -13* and… by yellowhousedays via Instagram
  11. { mini bacon egg cups on this cold an… by elf_girl via Instagram
  12. The Lotta paper dolls are here!!!- an… by lottajansdotter via Instagram
  13. Beautiful scallops on the Green Tea a… by fatquartershop via Instagram
  14. Adore my vintage cake decorator (with… by jennyeveryday via Instagram
  15. “All the art of living lies in a fine… by traceyclark via Flickr
  16. You are not lost by Stephanie Roberts via Flickr

Links

Here are a few interesting things from around the web that grabbed me this week:

  • Three Bird Nest: The Etsy Success Story Redefined – by whileshenaps.com. Are you aware that handmade marketplace Etsy changed their rules recently regarding manufactured goods? Abby tells the story of successful seller Three Bird Nest in the context of these new rules. It’s an interesting read, and the comments drew me in as well.
  • ThreeBirdNest (the Etsy “success”) has nothing to do with you. – by Tara Swiger. So if you read the previous informational article I posted about this by Abby Glassenberg, and it got you kind of miffed (as a handmade seller yourself) then you might need to read this from Tara Swiger. Tara has a way of putting things into perspective!
  • 10 Etsy Alternatives for Crafty Entrepreneurs – from BusinessNewsDaily. One last thing about this Etsy kerfuffle. Smart crafty business owners do not rely on Etsy alone for their livelihood. If you are thinking of leaving Etsy, or supplementing it, here are some other sites on which to sell your stuff.
  • Burt’s Bees Lip Balm Homemade DIY Copycat Recipe – from Happy Money Saver. At only 12 cents per tube, this is very tempting! I’ll bet you could tint it with beet powder or something, too. That 12 cent figure is slightly misleading, though, unless you go through lip balm like nobody’s business. The ingredients are purchased in bulk, so startup costs can be a bit high. You could always share with a friend!
  • Make Real Silver Jewelry with Metal Clay! – from A Beautiful Mess. I like it when someone brings an art material like metal clay to the crafty masses and makes it sound less intimidating. The supplies for metal clay can be a bit spendy, but it also lends itself to some simple techniques, and the ability to make your own silver jewelry can be worth the expense. I made myself a simple ring several years ago, and I wear it all of the time.

Ok, I’m off to vegetate in front of the tv. You have a happy Friday now!

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